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Meet Alana Oates Female Entrepreneur Interview


Someone said "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world" and this woman surely did with her beautiful creations.

Meet Alana Oates (@lanio), founder of the shoe brand Llani (@llanishoes).

"Create a positive network of other like-minded business owners. It will take you places and be a source of guidance for you when times get tough!" is her advice for the new female entrepreneurs.

Let's meet her.


Alana Oates

- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I created a brand called Llani. We design shoes, and partner mindful factories in India to make them. - When did your journey start?

My journey started while I was in college, my first internship was at URBN Inc. I grew up in the company, and eventually became the designer of women’s own brand shoes for Anthropologie. I got the opportunity to design and make shoes all over the world. My favorite place to travel to and design in was India.

- What’s the idea behind your business? When I conceptualised Llani, I was living in SF and traveling a lot. I wanted a shoe that was easy and effortless to slip on and off while traveling, was comfortable at home, but also looked beautiful enough to go to dinner or grab drinks in.



- Do you have a personal life motto?

A high tide floats all boats. I totally believe in lifting others up, supporting other women, business owners, those in your network, and celebrating successes. - What is your main struggle a being female entrepreneur? For me, designing women’s shoes, and selling to mostly women, I find it an asset to be a woman. However, this year I became a mother. I founded the brand with starting a family at the top of my mind, so I knew this day would come where I had to balance the business, not having maternity leave, and a new baby girl. - How do you overcome it?

Still figuring it out! My husband and friends were hugely supportive. I also had an amazing assistant that was able to do a lot of our packing and shipping. I’m excited to show my little girl what entrepreneurial life looks like, which is different every day.

- What was your biggest professional achievement during your entrepreneur journey? We have gained notable press, our Luxe Satin Slide was featured O Magazine Favorite Things issue for holiday, and our Clara Collection was featured in InStyle. I get so excited to see something that I created along with my partners in India - something they hand embellished in the pages of a magazine. It’s a really cool feeling. - What was your biggest personal achievement?

My daughter Vivian. - What is the greatest lesson you've learned from being an entrepreneur?

Mistakes happen, sometimes expensive ones. You can’t let it knock you down. I try to take it in stride, learn, and move on. - How do you find inspiration on an average day? Do you have any rituals?

I reserve time each day for a little bit of inspo. Weather it’s flipping through a magazine at a coffee shop, getting out to see some art, or even scrolling through pinterest or my favorite IGs for a couple minutes.


- Who’s the female entrepreneur that you admire the most and why?

Two women I really admire are Clare Vivier and Jessie Randall. I think what they have done with their brands is very cool. They have stayed very true to their original style and design intent and it’s uniquely their own. It’s been cool to follow these brands, respectively, and see how they have scaled into really huge businesses. - How do you advertise yourself as an entrepreneur?

I try to do as many of our pop-ups and events personally. I just love meeting the women who are falling in love with our shoes for the first time, or seeing our loyal customers at our events. I also love interview opportunities like this one, to share a little about Llani. - How did social media help you to promote your business?

Instagram was everything for us. and it still is. So many of our customers have found us that way. I think it’s incredible that emerging brands have a space where they can tell their message through visual content.


- Do you have any advice to give to the new female entrepreneurs?

Create a positive network of other like-minded business owners. It will take you places and be a source of guidance for you when times get tough!


Thank You Alana! Discover More at www.llanishoes.com


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